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Prime Ministers of Finland and Latvia meet in Riga

Government Communications Department
Publication date 24.5.2024 15.14
Press release
Photo: Gatis Rozenfelds, Valsts kanceleja

Prime Minister Petteri Orpo and Prime Minister of Latvia Evika Siliņa met on Friday 24 May in Riga, where they discussed a variety of issues related to European security and defence. After the meeting, the prime ministers took part in the opening of the new Patria production facility in the city of Valmiera.

The prime ministers had a wide-ranging discussion on European security and ways to promote it. They also addressed the topic of border security. In the bilateral discussions and the joint press conference that followed, Prime Minister Orpo thanked Prime Minister Siliņa for the smooth cooperation between their countries. Latvia also has experience with instrumentalised migration at its border. 
“A hybrid attack at Finland’s eastern border is an attack on the security of the EU as a whole. Border security is a key aspect of the EU’s comprehensive security,” said Prime Minister Orpo at the joint press conference after the meeting.

The prime ministers also highlighted the importance of support for Ukraine.

“Our countries are strong supporters of Ukraine. Ukraine urgently needs more weapons. Russia is and will continue to be a significant threat to European security. Russia has prepared for a long war. Russia must not win this war. For this reason, we must strengthen the European defence industry and ramp up ammunition production – and that is precisely what we are doing here today,” Prime Minister Orpo continued.

After the press conference, the prime ministers took part in the opening of the new Patria production facility in the city of Valmiera.
“The Valmiera production facility is part of the CAVS project, which aims to enhance Europe’s security and defence capacity. The project supports NATO and the EU’s plan to increase members’ defence cooperation and defence industry cooperation through high-quality, cost-effective joint projects,” Prime Minister Orpo noted in his opening address.
The Finland-led joint CAVS project aims to develop the armoured 6x6 vehicle system to suit the needs of several European countries. The project is based on the Patria 6x6 armoured vehicle. 
“Finland and Latvia initiated this successful project to strengthen the links between our countries. Having Germany and Sweden on board has opened up up opportunities for cooperation, joint exercises and crisis management operations between the Nordic and Baltic countries. It has also simplified logistics and improved security of supply,” Prime Minister Orpo said.
At the end of the visit, Prime Ministers Orpo and Siliņa attended the opening of an exhibit on Finnish Jaegers at the Valmiera Public Library. Curated by the National Archive of Latvia, the exhibit focuses on Finnish Jaegers and their time in Latvia. It was in Latvia that the Finnish Jaegers took their oath of allegiance to independent Finland.

Inquiries: Marja Koskela, Diplomatic Adviser to the Prime Minister, tel. +358 295 160 978, Tuomas Tikkanen, Special Adviser (EU Affairs), tel. +358 40 523 5768 and Anne Sjöholm, Head of Communications for EU Affairs, tel. +358 40 537 0733, Prime Minister’s Office